Students compete for best in show(case)

What better opportunity to earn a scholarship than by sharing your work at Arizona Western College’s Student Showcase?

For the third year in a row, thanks to donations from the Gowan Company, the General Education Curriculum Committee was able to award $5,000 in scholarships from the various GE Focus Areas – Digital Literacy, Communication, Quantitative Analysis, Scientific Literacy and Civic Discourse.

In response, students brought their best achievements yet to AWC’s North Schoening Conference Center during the last week of classes, and visitors flocked in to see the more than seventy-five projects ranging from scientific posters, modern language presentations, business models, informational websites, dramatic readings and mechanical projects, including a six-foot tall trebuchet!

“I think this student showcase is a great opportunity for students, not only to earn scholarships, but to also get the chance to participate with the community,” said one presenter.

            Projects from hydraulic excavators to thermo-electric fans to DNA that can help differentiate types of Scorpions were just a few of the elaborate presentations.

            “With a solar panel, a candle and a few other tools, you can get an electric fan to spin” said student Rodolfo Alvarez. The purpose of the thermo-electronic fan is to allow ways on getting the same objects to move with a lot less energy that can potentially harm the environment with excess use. Although scientists may argue whether global warming exists, finding better and safer ways to get the same results can possibly prevent it from happening.

            Physics student Sarah Shepard showed her model of a hydraulic excavator as a representation of Pascal’s Law of Physics, which states that “a pressure change occurring anywhere in a confined incompressible fluid is transmitted throughout the fluid such that the same change occurs everywhere.” The purpose of the excavator is to pick up objects solely by using water pressure.

            A third student showed how Arizona’s scorpions might not even be native to Arizona and instead come from the South American countries. By testing their physical characteristics, their environment and their DNA, it has been proven that scorpions differ biologically according to their environment. Scorpions from sandy areas have long hairs like “sand combs” that allow them to maneuver more easily than scorpions from other places.

            These along with many other projects were presented and students/staff attentively answered any of the visitor’s questions.

After the judges wrapped up their deliberations, nine students earned Showcase scholarships in the five General Education focus areas:

  • Juan Guerrero        $1,000 – Quantitative Analysis
  • Tuan Nguyen         $1,000 – Digital Literacy
  • Sarah Shepard        $1,000 – Scientific Literacy
  • Melissa Reese        $500 – Digital Literacy
  • Nadia Rangel          $500 – Communication
  • Pamela Pircaro        $250 – Digital Literacy
  • Alicia Luna              $250 – Civic Discourse
  • Hector Rubio           $250 – Scientific Literacy
  • Marissa Alvarez       $250 – Quantitative Analysis

Several recipients would be applying their scholarships to completion of AWC coursework, while others would use their scholarships to support their transfer to universities across the state.

“The AWC General Education Curriculum Committee congratulates the Showcase scholarship recipients and all the students who helped make the 2017 Student Showcase a great success,” said English Professor Dr. Ellen Riek, Chair of the Gen Ed Curriculum Committee.

            Students interested in attending or participating in next year’s Student Showcase can contact Dr. Riek for more information or visit the school website at www.azwestern.edu/showcase. Presentations, performances and praxis are all welcome, and students not only will get the opportunity for scholarships but will get to put their skills into practice for university coursework as well as life beyond college.

Photo Caption for group picture:

Top row: Hector Rubio, Nadia Rangel, Pamela Pircaro, Alicia Luna

Bottom row: Tuan Nguyen, Marissa Alvarez, Juan Guerrero, Sarah Shepard, Melissa Reese

Photos courtesy of AWC Photo Services

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